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Djokovic won first grand slam in Australian Open final PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Reuters, Melbourne

Third seed Novak Djokovic overcame a leg injury to win his first grand slam title with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 victory over unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Australian Open final on Sunday. Djokovic, who became the first Serbian man to win a grand slam singles crown, received court-side treatment during the fourth set.

He had been labouring after chasing down a Tsonga drop-shot in the fifth game of the set and was forced to call for the trainer. The 20-year-old, however, did not seem to be hampered by the injury when he returned and neither man was able to break serve in the fourth set. The unseeded Frenchman had a break point in the 11th game but wasted the opportunity when Djokovic calmly put away a cross-court volley.

The Serb held and so did Tsonga to force the tiebreak. But Djokovic, who lost last year’s US Open final to Roger Federer, upped his game in the tiebreak, taking two points on Tsonga’s serve and he sealed it 7-2 when the Frenchman’s forehand sailed wide.

Tsonga, bidding to become just the second Frenchman to win a grand slam singles title in the Open era, had taken a surprise one-set lead when he recovered from losing the first game of the match to break Djokovic in the second and 10th games.

Both players held serve in the second set until Djokovic broke in the seventh game and he went on to level the match. Djokovic then stepped up a gear in the third when he broke the 22-year-old in the third game. The pair traded service games with neither really threatening to break until the final game of the third set. The Serb took a 0-40 lead to give him three break points, which Tsonga saved. Djokovic created three more set points, all of which he wasted, before making no mistake on his seventh opportunity to take the set 6-3.

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